Author: Cath Crowley
Publisher: Alfred A Knopf
Your Age Recommendation: Teen
Publication Date: 2/14/2012 (US - previously pub’d in Australia)
Available for Kindle?: Yes
My Rating: 4.5 / 5
Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He's out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy's stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they're suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes.
More often than not, I judge a book not on its cover but on how many quotes I glean from it. I keep a notebook of lines I want to remember or find particularly striking, and if there aren’t many entries in that journal for a given book, it’s likely that I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I could have.
For GRAFFITI MOON, I have two-and-a-half handwritten pages of quotes, some of which are entire paragraphs.
Cath Crowley has a beautiful way with words, and an uncanny way of carrying an idea through a narrative with only vague references to it. I can’t describe it accurately, so here’s a snippet from the novel (with no explanation, in order to avoid spoilers, of course):
I kept dreaming her and me were tangled like that. Kept dreaming of this spot she had on her neck, this tiny country I wanted to visit, to paint a picture of what I found there, a wall with a road map of her skin.
In addition to this gorgeous style of prose and extended metaphor, Crowley also includes regular chapters composed of brief and impacting poetry; they always go hand-in-hand with whatever’s occurring in the story at that given time, and the words are no less beautiful.
Quite honestly: I loved Ed and Lucy. I felt that Crowley gave them both depth in various ways, and she made her supporting characters believable. I’ll admit that it took me to about the 20% mark to begin to feel really connected with the Lucy and Ed, but once I did, I really, genuinely liked them, liked reading about their story.
Additionally, the POVs alternate in GRAFFITI MOON, and though this can sometimes become tedious and annoying, she does it in a way that is never overkill, even when bits of the same scene are seen through two different perspectives.
The story itself, of Lucy on her search for the elusive Shadow, is done well. It’s never cheesy, and it’s never eye-rollingly coincidental. The character depth helps with this, because Lucy is seeking out Shadow because she feels an honest-to-God connection to his art, which leads me to my final point about this book:
The way that Crowley writes about the creative process is absolutely spot on. Though Ed and Lucy are both artists in different ways, I can honestly say that, as a writer, there are quotes that reflected my feelings about putting words to paper that made me sit back and think, “YES. THAT. Exactly that.”
GRAFFITI MOON is lovely, engaging, and beautifully written. Read it - you won’t regret it.